Metal Detecting Treasures

  • Apr. 9, 2015 9:00 a.m.

Pipestone Flyer

  Metal detecting is a crazy hobby – well, at least that is how many people view those silly guys and gals who are wandering around beaches swinging a metal rod with a sensor on one end and gauges on the other and all connected with a set of  headphones. Crazy as it may look, to the enthusiastic metal detectorists, the thrill of unearthing the next treasure becomes very addictive. 

    I have always been a little curious about metal detecting but became thoroughly convinced I had to have a machine of my own after witnessing a friend of mine finding an 1881 US silver dollar at an old site west of Wetaskiwin. It wasn’t long before I bought my first Garrett 150 metal detector. I was excited.  Just what I had dreamed of, digging in the dirt and sand and finding those elusive old coins and relics.

    Thinking back, that was about 30 years, and about 3000 coins, 50 rings, watches, keys and many other treasures ago. 

    I was pretty proud of that very first $149 machine and even prouder when it discovered my first coin. But that was nothing compared to several months later when it made some positive sounding beeps on a beach at Muriel Lake near Bonnyville.  I turned up a King George V nickel and was definitely hooked. 

    Recently, when examining some of the rings I have collected for gold and silver content, I became curious about a dirty and corroded brass metal ring. In my mind, it was in the category of, “it’s a ring but nothing very special” until I stuck it under the light and magnifying glass. Inside the band was a tiny engraving that sparked my curiosity and interest; a “U” with and arrow through it and a “7”. 

    After doing some searching on the net, the best I have come up with is it may be aboriginal symbols? The ‘U’ being a person or man, the arrow is an arrow and the ‘7’ is a symbol for a boomerang? Likely very inaccurate, but the best I can come up with so I am appealing to our readers to provide some insight into this mysterious find.

    With a new metal detecting season about to begin, over the years I have moved up four levels of sophistication of detector and am now sporting a Garrett 2500. My Garrett 1000 still remains as my reliable backup.  My detector travels with me from spring thaw to fall freeze-up and provides me with a few minutes of entertainment during a rest stop or several hours of fun and exercise during serious searching at old building sites or on beaches. 

    People ask,”What is the most interesting thing you have found?”  This is very difficult to answer but I still wonder, what is the story is behind the wedding band I found by a group campfire in a residential camp? Or how did the person who lost their large set of keys get home and into their house? Or what did the lady feel when she noticed her ring with 16 diamonds was missing? I will never likely know the answers to those questions but I do have a feeling of satisfaction when seeing those happy faces after my metal detecting efforts returned the lost special ring, bracelet, keys or other valued items.  

    Every find is a treasure; even some of the junk can provide a historical message. Mine includes coins dating from 1910 to the loonies and toonies of today;  rings, watches and other jewelry, key sets, badges, shell casings and numerous other artifacts. 

    Perhaps the most interesting find, was a totally unexpected one. I had thrown a variety of coins in the grass on my front lawn in Wetaskiwin to fine-tune my new Graphic Target Imaging Garrett 2500 detector. I started to find the nickels, quarters and loonies I had seeded, but my astonishment, amongst them was an 1867-1927 Confederation coin buried beneath the grass on my very own front lawn.

    Who knows, maybe this year will turn up an older coin, a ring with more diamonds, or a more interesting artifact. Regardless, I am looking forward to another season of metal detecting and the healthy and relaxing three mile walks and numerous knee bends during each outing. 

    If you would like more information about this exciting and relaxing hobby, feel free to contact me at big_mac@telusplanet.net.

Just Posted

Storm clouds gathered in Mulhurst, Alta., just before noon June 15, 2021. Photo/ Dan Moster.
Areas of County of Wetaskiwin remain under severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for areas of the County.

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday June 12th, 2021

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Manluk Centre/ Impress
Manluk Centre re-opens to the public

Drop in and registered programs will be available; one-third facility capacity to be followed.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are looking for male responsible for an armed robbery at Super Car and RV Wash in Leduc.

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Most Read